International Physics Olympiad (IPhO) Experiment Demonstration

The Canadian Physics competition season is around every April and May. The American PhysicsBowl Exam and the Canadian Association of Physics (CAP) Exam are held every April. The Ontario Association of Physics Teachers (OAPT) Exam and the Sir Isaac Newton (SIN) Exam are held every May.


The CAP will be held on April 11 this year. The CAP is the only International Physics Olympiad (IPhO) selection exam in Canada.


To add some variety to students’ physics learning, Olympiads School has invited Steven Ye, last year’s IPhO gold medalist, to demonstrate the entire experimental section of the 2017 IPhO.


Experiment is an integral part of physics. Due to limited resources in public schools, however, most students do not get a chance to conduct or witness advanced physics experiments. To help students learn physics more effectively, Olympiads School bought the entire experiment equipment set from the 2017 IPhO and asked Steven Ye to work through and explain the entire experiment in front of our students.


This presentation is very helpful for several reasons. Physics theory and experiment go hand in hand. Many of the physics concepts were first discovered through experiments. As a result, familiarity with experiments can consolidate a student’s theoretical knowledge. Moreover, most experiments are some form of real life applications. The more experimental exposure the students get, the better prepared they will be when they enter university or work that require hands-on experience. Lastly, most experiments themselves are generally very interesting. Sometimes solving a problem on paper can get a bit abstract and tedious, but experiments are always grounded in reality. Each one is akin to a mini discovery. We hope students treasure this rare opportunity.


From left to right:  Jerry Zheng, Steven Ye, Henry Tang


On last year’s CAP, the top two students are both from Olympiads School. Among the top six students, four of them are from Olympiads School. They are Jerry Zheng, Steven Ye, Michael Li, and Henry Tang. All four of these students are long time Olympiads School students and have been invited to the Physics summer training camp at University of British Columbia. Out of the four students, three of them qualified for the 2017 IPhO held in Yogyakarta, Indonesia.


In the last IPhO, Olympiads School students performed exceptionally well. Steven Ye received gold medal; Jerry Zheng received silver medal; and Henry Tang received bronze medal. Before 2017, the Canadian had not received a gold medal in 8 years.